I decided there clearly wasn't enough Dad;76 fanfiction out there. This is my first fanfiction, so go easy on me (though any feedback is appreciated). The ages of the characters are not consistent with canon ages, and in my opinion that's okay. Also, there won't be any accents for the characters since in this fic they were all raised in the US for all Intents and Purposes. Alright, read on.
Jack didn't know what he was doing. He didn't even really know why. Maybe it had been that conversation with Sally. Maybe it had been Reinhardt and his niece. It had probably been Angela, pressuring him to do something crazy. And somehow that had led him here, sitting in a waiting room. The papers were signed, the arrangements were made, and now Jack wondered if he had made a terrible mistake.
How had he gotten here? Sure, Angela had pissed him off, telling him he was going nowhere. He was somewhere; he had a steady job, a nice house, hell, even a girlfriend! Their argument wasn't enough to send him over the edge, was it?
Apparently it was seeing as he was now the guardian of five.
Five was a lot. Under normal circumstances, the agency probably wouldn't have given him more than two. Fortunately, their system was so overloaded; they'd practically begged him to take the kids. Money had been offered, but Jack turned it down. He wasn't doing this for cash.
So why was he doing this?
"Mr. Morrison?" Jack looked up at the social worker. She was a plain woman with mousy brown hair pulled into a tight bun. She had told him her name, but Jack had instantly forgotten it. He had yet to see her smile. "They're ready to go."
Jack stood, and the woman led him outside. The parking lot was empty save for a few cars, including his brand new van, and a group of five, familiar kids.
Over the last two weeks, Jack had become familiar with their faces and names, starting with the oldest, Aleksandra, and finishing with Lena, the youngest. He was pretty sure Aleksandra disliked him, but the others had seemed to accept him. They perked up when they saw him. One, a boy with shaggy brown hair and brown eyes jumped up from the ground and ran forward. Jack grunted as the kid smacked into his leg.
"Jack!" Jesse cried. "We're going to your house today. Isn't that cool?"
"Uh, yeah," Jack said. "Mind letting go?" Jesse grinned, revealing a missing incisor. That was new.
"You'll have a six week probation period," the social worker informed him. "If within that time something doesn't work out, call us, and we'll take the children. After six weeks though, they're yours."
Jack nodded. "Yes, thank you."
She just stared. After an awkward moment, Jack turned away.
"Remember, Mr. Morrison. Call us."
Jack suppressed a shiver.
The van was quiet as Jack drove through the city. Most of the kids were silent, looking out the window or resting their eyes. Jesse though was firing finger guns at the nearby vehicles, a soft "pwew" for each shot. Used to complete silence while driving, Jack found the sound incredibly distracting. He was half-tempted to ask the kid to stop, but he had a feeling Jesse couldn't help it with his ADHD. Once that had just been called "being a kid", but the social workers had assured Jack that the condition was "very serious" and should be taken as such.
Stopping at a light, Jack glanced at his rear-view mirror again. Lena had fallen asleep, her small head resting on Aleksandra's lap. It looked uncomfortable with the seatbelt, but the little girl seemed unperturbed. Maybe she was used to it. Aleksandra herself had her eyes closed, but Jack couldn't tell if she was really asleep or not.
A honk startled Jack out of his thoughts, and he slammed his foot on the gas pedal in response. He quickly rectified his speed, but checking the mirror, a middle finger presented itself to him.
"Thanks buddy," Jack muttered under his breath. He hated the city; the suburbs were much kinder. Another glance into the mirror, and there was a small smirk on Aleksandra's face.
Jack was relieved when his house came into view. Two hours of awkward almost silence. Two hours of glancing nervously at mirrors. Two hours of "pwew, pwew, pwew". If this was how parenting was going to be, Jack was tempted to dial up his cellphone and forget it all. He didn't, if only because he could see Angela's face in his mind. Smug, eyebrows cocked irritatingly and mouth twisted into a sly smirk. "Told you," she would say. He would show her; he could deal with anything. He could deal with five kids. Easy. Simple. No big deal.
It was already the hardest thing he'd ever done, and he'd only been at it for a couple of hours.
He pulled into the driveway, shut off the engine, and pulled the keys out of the ignition. They sat in silence for a moment; Jesse had noise-making had quieted. Then finally a tiny voice came from the backseat. "Your house is really big." Jack frowned slightly at the awe in Lena's voice. His house wasn't really all that impressive. It was a townhouse just like the ones around it. The white paint was peeling slightly, and one of the second floor windows didn't shut all the way. Sure, it was larger than most of the others around it, but it wasn't a mansion or anything.
"It needs to be," Jack replied. "There's a lot of you." Lena smiled, and that brightened up her entire face.
"Well come on," Jack sighed, climbing out of the vehicle. Seat belts came free as the kids followed him out of the van to the trunk where their bags were. He began lifting suitcases and putting them on the ground for each kid to take. The agency had supplied them with standard, black cases with name tags for their personal items. They were small bags. Jesse and Lena took their cases with excited smiles, but Aleksandra grabbed hers from the van before Jack could touch it and stalked towards the house. Jack stared after her, objections hot on his tongue.
"Mr. Morrison?" The soft voice distracted his gaze, and Jack looked down at the older boy beside him. Hanzo looked back, narrow dark brown eyes calm. "Don't worry about Aleksandra. She is feeling a bit frustrated at the moment." Jack stopped, then shrugged to himself. Hanzo had shown before that while quiet, he was observant. Jack handed him his suitcase just as a similar-looking boy peeked around the side of the van. Genji and Hanzo were actual blood brothers; they had managed to stick together, in part thanks to Aleksandra.
She had kept the entire group connected. Jack had heard plenty of tales of her exploits. The youth had grown attached to the others in the system and had vowed to keep the group together. From things as simple as sending letters and Christmas and birthday gifts to feat as serious as running away from several homes, Aleksandra had fought to keep her family together. It was what had interested Jack in the first place. He'd thought taking the lot would improve his chances. Apparently though, Aleksandra was not too keen on the idea of making things easy.
"Thanks for the advice," Jack grunted, slamming the trunk closed. Hanzo shrugged modestly, but a smile tugged at the edge of his mouth. Genji kicked at a rock.
Aleksandra was leaning against the door moodily, Jesse and Lena babbling excitedly to each other in front of her. She glared at Jack before stepping aside to let him unlock the door. Jack suppressed the urge to smile. Wasn't his fault if she was impatient.
The house was dark, the lights all off for Jack's absence. He let the kids file in before flipping the switch beside the door, illuminating the living room. Lena immediately ran for the couch, flopping across it. Jack raised a brow. Well she would have no trouble settling in.
"The bedrooms are upstairs," Jack said, motioning towards the staircase. The younger ones rushed up while Hanzo and Aleksandra followed calmly behind. Jack trailed after them, eyeing the younger ones just in case they tripped. Reinhardt's niece had once done that; she'd broken her wrist. Jack had been paranoid ever since. When Sally's family had visited for Thanksgiving, he'd banned her nieces and nephews from the stairs altogether. Nobody had argued with him. Still didn't stop one of the older twerps from running up them on a dare.
Sally didn't bring her family over anymore.
On the second floor, Jack turned on the hall light and began playing tour guide. "Bathroom's here," he announced, rapping on the door. "Try not to leave the seat up. Sally hates that."
"Who's Sally?" Genji interrupted.
"My girlfriend. You'll meet her soon enough. My room's at the end of the hall; knock if you need something."
"You didn't tell us you had a girlfriend," mused Genji. "Why isn't she here now?" Jack held back a sigh. She would've been there, but unlike Angela, Sally wasn't too amused by his actions. She'd been avoiding him ever since he'd begun putting in paperwork. She would come around. Eventually.
Jack didn't tell Genji this. Instead he said, "She's working." Which was technically the truth. She waited tables at a restaurant in town and worked 12 to 7 five days a week. She wouldn't be home for hours. Genji seemed to take this as an acceptable answer and let Jack continue.
"I only had four rooms, so two of you are going to have to share. Hanzo and Genji?" Jack turned to the brothers questioningly. They both nodded, probably used to sharing. "Alright, this is your room. Jesse, that is yours, and yours is next to mine, Aleksandra." The girl stiffened, but Jack focused on Lena. "And right in the middle is your room, Lena." He twisted the knob, took a second to pray, and pushed the door open.
Lena gasped. Jack watched the little girl skip into the room, a look of pure delight on her face. That same Thanksgiving, Sally had managed to convince Jack to let her decorate for her nieces. She had taken one of the guest bedrooms and torn the entire thing apart. It had taken her a full week to paint the walls and replace the carpet. In the end, the room had been turned from a plain white bedroom to a sparkly, pink monstrosity. At the time Jack had despaired, but now, watching Lena, Jack was grateful. No, Lena would have no trouble settling in at all.
A door slammed, startling Jack. He turned only to find that Aleksandra had disappeared into the room he had pointed out to her. Hanzo met his gaze again, as if reminding Jack of their exchange earlier. But to Jack, this was more than just a bit of frustration. He was sure Aleksandra just plain out hated him.
Alright, first chapter! I apologize for my lack of knowledge surrounding foster care and the like. Hopefully it wasn't too offensive. So, how was it? Did you like it? Should I continue? Who's your favorite character so far? And what the heck is wrong with Aleksandra?